Coronavirus Has a Crush… on Sugar

By Bren Boston, MD

Coronavirus has a crush on sugar.  It gets really amped and energized on sugar and makes a bunch of virus babies.  Coronavirus loves that sugar is the most inflammatory food you can eat.  So, if you are exposed to Coronavirus, don’t feed it sugar or processed foods that turn into sugar once you eat them.

What should you eat to help your body beat the Coronavirus?  Foods that decrease inflammation can help your immune system squelch the Coronavirus.  

Anti-inflammatory foods include:

• green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, chard)

• cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli)

• omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, sardines, chia seeds, and flax seeds) 

• nuts like walnuts and almonds

• berries

• beans like lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans 

• unrefined, whole grains like quinoa or barley

• fermented veggies like sauerkraut and kimchi

• spices like turmeric, ginger, rosemary, cinnamon

• green tea and black tea

Speaking of green tea, several studies have proven there is antiviral activity in the polyphenols found in green tea.  In fact, some of the chemical compounds in green tea and in dark chocolate have been found to interfere with the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to replicate by binding to its main protease.  Does that mean you can eat a bucket of dark chocolate?  No.  Moderation is key.

Hydration is super important.  Your cells are about 70% water by mass.  They can only function optimally when they are properly watered.  If your cells are parched little raisins, then they are not going to be up to the fight to punch down the Coronavirus.  Most adults should be drinking about 64 oz of water a day.  If you feel thirsty, you are probably already in about 1 liter water deficit.  Don’t wait until you feel thirsty; schedule your water intake throughout the day.

Vitamin D is important to your immune system all the time but might especially play a role in helping your body survive Covid.  You certainly don’t want to be deficient in vitamin D at this point.  Foods rich in vitamin D include mushrooms, salmon, and foods fortified with vitamin D like fortified tofu and fortified milk substitutes.

Vitamin C helps your body generate antibodies and is an important antioxidant.  Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, red and green peppers, broccoli, kale, kiwi, papaya, and mango.  Vitamin C is also a cofactor in many enzymatic reactions inside our cells and important to keep our cells in fighting shape.

Zinc is a mineral that helps our immune system and is involved with the senses of taste and smell.  Zinc has been found to shorten the duration of illness with other coronaviruses that cause the common cold.  Zinc is found in pumpkin seeds, legumes, cashews, tofu, oysters, and oatmeal.

While there is no food that will prevent or cure the Coronavirus, food is medicine and can support your body and immune system to help survive the attack.

Dr. Bren Boston specializes in Integrative Pain Management, Sports Medicine and Women’s Care, you can schedule an appointment with her by calling 310-451-8880 or emailing us at